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Dr. Quigley Belonged To A Tribe

2012 January 30
by J. Scott Mosel

Dr. Quigley began to take his coffee

black, right about the time a clover

appeared on his chest.

At first he thought it was a type of stigmata.

He belonged to a tribe that did not yet exist,

and this gave him enormous satisfaction.

At night he dreamt deeply, his extended family

vacationing on cruise ships along the west coast

of California, probably Venice Beach,

and in the dream this made him happy.

The streets of the city were flooded,

and there were storms moving in the distance.

He could hear the echoes of paddles

along the shore, and the cries of seagulls.

Alone, he gazed at water flowing

beneath the stars, darkness

huddled silently in distant redwoods.

He was saddened by the last sighs of autumn

and the departures of loved ones.

He noted a direct correlation exists

between mental stability

and appreciation for the beauty of women.

For this reason, he kept a harmonica

in his pocket at all times,

and he smiled faintly while driving.

It was time to begin the work

for which he would someday be made famous,

and he wanted to have something on hand

in case they came for him,

the mist slowing his thoughts down

to the trickle of a prayer:

The next time I see the kind of light

that resembles the arc of the soul,

I will be ready–

for I am nothing without you.

Make me the water that flows

from the hands and lips

of distant hills.

Make me the shadow that moves

close to the river and weeps.

Make me hear your words

in the whisper of waves.

Make me silence,

even if it steals something deep,

something true and beautiful

from the well of my being.

Let me stay here,

let me hear one note

from the one whom I love.


In the morning it was the same:

a shot of whiskey–

no answers from the grave.

One Response leave one →
  1. Peg Mosel permalink
    February 1, 2012


    I love your newest Dr. Quigley poem. It has everything. I great narrative along with sensuality which Dr. Q so enjoys. I like this turn he has made. My favorite line is, ” He was saddened by the last sighs of Autumn.” Also, the clover reference is pure genious. Simple, yet so provacative somehow. He is ever evolving making the reader desire more.

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